Lantra Set up for a career in agriculture

Lantra Set up for a career in agriculture

Lantra_logo_webArable Apprentice Leon Ayres started working on a small farm near his home after leaving school

“I enjoyed it so much that I decided agriculture was what I wanted to do,” says Leon, who went on to secure a job on a farm he saw advertised in Farmers Weekly magazine. As the farm was based in Bedfordshire, relocation was involved, but this didn’t deter Leon.
The farm specialised in producing onions and was much bigger than the one he had worked on after leaving school. Leon gained several qualifications while working on the farm, including Pesticides, Rough Terrain Telescopic Lift Truck, Emergency First Aid at Work and Manual Handling. “Most of these were achieved at work through my employer and some of them through college. Training and certification was viewed as very important by my employer,” he explains. In 2011 Leon met the owner of a Lincolnshire-based arable farm that specialises in potatoes. “The owner was interested in taking me on as an arable apprentice and I decided that this would be a good opportunity to continue my education and work on a highly mechanised farm,” he says. He decided to enrol at Bishop Burton College in order to undertake the Apprenticeship, which he saw as an ideal way of enhancing his skills, employability and knowledge. Leon is responsible for maintaining equipment and operating it according to soil conditions. He also acts as relief potato planter operator when the primary operator takes a break. There is a variety of key skills required for the role accordingly to Leon. “Listening is especially important, because much of our work is complex and undertaken alone so it is important to know and remember all the tasks that need doing,” he says. “Good timekeeping is also vital. I have to use my own initiative and I must be able to solve minor problems on my own, such as repairing machinery. Communicating with other employees is important too.” Leon has some useful advice for anyone wishing to pursue a similar career path: “Do not be put off by moving to get the job that you want. Moving 150 miles for me was a challenge but it set me up for my career in agriculture,” he concludes.

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